Nice Dreams (1981)

DVD Cover (Sony Home Entertainment Reissue)
Genres: Comedy, Slapstick, Stoner Comedy
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Tommy Chong Tommy Chong
Tommy Chong Tommy Chong
Cheech Marin Cheech Marin
Benita Barrie Benita Barrie
Sandra Bernhard Sandra Bernhard
Big Yank Big Yank

6.2 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: January 02, 2008
For the last couple of days, your faithless reviewer, webmaster, and all around swell guy has been deathly sick... alright, maybe that's an exaggeration, but I did have the flu and it has been - and still is - kicking my ass. I've been doped up on all sorts of pills and syrups in an attempt to put an end to this sickness, and since the "doped" part of this sentence is the operative word here, I figured that I might as well make the most of it and pop in a Cheech & Chong classic. Well, "classic" is pushing it a bit, but it's the thought that counts, right?

The storyline for this one... wait, before we get into that, let me just point out that this is a Cheech & Chong flick, and as such, the vast majority of the storyline revolves around our Mexican friends getting high and finding themselves on the bad side of the local police. This is a recurring theme throughout all of their films and albums, as I'm sure you're aware, so to expect some grand storyline from any of their releases is laughable at best.

With that said, what we get from this one is Cheech (Cheech Marin) and Chong (Tommy Chong) starting up a drug business out of the back of their ice cream truck, a business that they have dubbed - appropriately enough - "Nice Dreams." They soon find themselves pocketing about seventeen-million dollars in drug money, but what they don't know is that the weed they've been selling has a minor side effect: it turns the smokers into iguanas (don't ask). They're also clueless to the fact that the boys in blue, led by Sgt. Stedanko (Stacy Keach, reprising his role from Up in Smoke), are hot on their trail and gathering evidence on them at every stop. Hilarity and stoner hijinks ensue, and showing up in cameo appearances are Sandra Bernhard (in her first movie role, no less), Linnea Quigley, Paul Reubens, and Michael Winslow.

While an enjoyable film, Nice Dreams is certainly a far step down from the work that put Cheech & Chong on the proverbial map. It has its moments and it does produce a fair amount of laughs, but when you compare it to their earlier films (and hell, even some of their albums), there's just no comparison. I think this can safely be blamed on the fact that they had probably ran out of ideas by this point in their career; after all, there's only so many ways to make pot-smoking Mexicans funny, and with the amount of material they've released and appeared in over the years, well... let's just say that they probably used all of their best material long before this one went into production.

Again, Nice Dreams is far from the worst of their work and it's actually pretty amusing as a standalone product. I particularly enjoyed the threesome and the subsequent nude romp throughout the hotel, and I laughed like a fool every time Paul Reubens showed up - I had totally forgotten how funny that guy can be when he's not the butt of masturbation jokes. Both Cheech and Chong are also entertaining as hell here, and although their performances here probably won't change your mind about them if you're not already a fan, those of us who do enjoy them will certainly have a lot to watch for here.

It's just a shame that the script was as weak as it was, because honestly, who doesn't love a stoner comedy starring these two? I also felt that the ice cream truck gimmick had more mileage in it than what it received, as it really only exists to set the main storyline into motion - well, the main storyline being Cheech & Chong constantly getting themselves into trouble, anyway. I realize that stoner comedies and Cheech & Chong flicks in particular aren't known for award-winning storylines, but a little more effort would have gone a long way.

Fans of the series will probably enjoy this one, but they'll also probably agree with me that this is far from the best work of those lovable Mexicans. It pads out a double feature nicely, but as a standalone film? Pass on it unless you're really hard up for some more of the same ol' drug jokes that have been done countless times before. 5/10.
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